From November 29th to December 1st, EXPRA hosted the captivating EXPRA Balkan Workshop 2023 in the vibrant city of Athens, thanks to the great collaboration with our Greek member, HERRCO – HELLENIC RECOVERY RECYCLING CORPORATION.
Understanding the challenges faced by our members and identifying barriers are key goals for EXPRA. This drives the sharing of best practices among cutting-edge countries, and one of our annual events, the Balkan Workshop, brings together professionals representing 10 Balkan countries to share best practices and case studies from the region. The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for our Balkan members to engage in discussions on crucial topics such as developments in European legislation, future challenges, quantitative results of countries and Member Systems of EXPRA, and the essential conditions to improve packaging recycling performance. These discussions were fundamental to the workshop’s success: specialized sessions explored optimization strategies for the collection of glass, paper, and PMD, with a specific emphasis on separate packaging waste collection and recyclability, also regarding ferrous materials. Participants also provided an overview of results from 2022 and offer insights for the upcoming year in 2023. EXPRA members also highlighted the review of countries’ annual accomplishments and the provision of insights for the upcoming year.

The EXPRA Balkan Workshop holds great importance as it helps convey and interpret the specific needs and gaps in these countries, facilitating the informed and efficient implementation of sustainable packaging waste management in line with national and European legislation. This, in turn, aids countries in determining the right tools and measures.

A heartfelt thanks to all EXPRA Balkans members who played a fundamental role in the success of the EXPRA Balkan Workshop 2023, and to our Italian and Belgian members who have shown how best practices have consistently yielded excellent results in packaging waste management over the years. We look for future collaborations and eagerly await the next conference.